You can help
Highland Creek Watershed is an urbanized watershed located in Scarborough,
between the Don and Rouge Rivers. There are several tributaries
of the Highland Creek, one of them being the Markham Branch, by
Markham Road and Highway 401. Over 40 years ago, during the development
of this community, parts of the creek were redirected into man-made
In 1994, the
City of Scarborough's Works and Emergency Services Department undertook
a study of this portion of the creek, which resulted in the decision
to restore a 1.5 kilometre stretch from Highway 401, south under
Progress Avenue and east to Markham Road. The aim of the project
is to enhance the water quality in the creek, reduce downstream
erosion and to create a recreational and wildlife corridor.
the summer of 1997, the City tendered a contract to start the restoration
of Highland Creek by re-introducing natural channel geometry with
meanders, pools and riffles and proper floodplain areas using fluvial
geomorphology and natural channel design concepts with bioengineering
stabilization techniques, to re-establish a natural and self-sustaining
stream channel for wildlife and fishery habitat enhancement. This
was the largest project of its kind in Ontario.
It was identified
early in the process that additional plantings of trees and shrubs
beyond the tendered contract would have long term benefits to the
valley, but were limited by resources.
City asked the community, through public meetings, to help out with
the restoration as it was felt that this would not only heighten
awareness of this undertaking but also help to foster a sense of
As a result
of this request, a group of interested citizens formed the Friends
of Highland Creek (FOHC), a voluntary, non-profit group of residents
who share a love of the environment and made a commitment to regenerate
of the group is:
"To restore, enhance, regenerate and raise community awareness
of the natural ecosystem of the Markham branch of Highland Creek
through education and the development of partnerships."
of Highland Creek has formed many partnerships. We have Scouts and
Guides assisting in the plantings and several local schools growing
and plant aquatic plants. We work closely with the City and the
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). We have received
support from The Co-operators, Home Depot, Eddie Bauer, Tree Canada,
Canada Trust, Ministry of Natural Resources and EcoAction 2000.
We have planted native trees, shrubs and aquatic plants, continuous
clean-ups throughout the year, hosted tours and participated in
community environmental events.
much has been accomplished, there is still much to be done to further
enhance the restoration of this portion of the Highland Creek as
an important wildlife and recreational corridor.
Events - mark
Spring Tree Planting
Come help us create a ribbon of nature in the heart of Scarborough.
Spring is here
again, and the Friends of Highland Creek are busy planting trees,
shrubs, and wildflowers!
of Highland Creek are celebrating their seventh year of restoring
nature to the Markham Branch of Highland Creek. So far over 8 000
trees and shrubs, and over 10 000 wildflowers have been planted,
but there is still so much more to do!